What's the story morning glory?

Chris (left) & Ethan (right) packing up the original batch of West3 Spice Rub in Chris's kitchen outside Milwaukee Wisconsin

I first saw Chris as he was getting off the elevator at CHW’s Cardiac ICU a couple days after Gabi’s first heart surgery. “Wow, he looks like crap” I thought, only to realize that I likely looked  the same. Fate would have that chance encounter lasting far longer as our daughters shared not only the same heart condition, but also a dividing wall between their two hospital rooms. Our families together spent the next months riding the ups and downs of open heart surgeries, and all the excitement that goes along with that. The entire Danstrom and Buchman families became fast friends, and continued to get together for BBQs and birthday parties, even more so after Carsyn’s passing in September of 2009.

“I’ll buy the meat if you bring some rub”

Chris offered to foot the bill for some pork ribs from Costco, if I would put together a batch of spice rub. Once I had finished getting the flavors where I wanted them I had nearly a gallon of rub in a zip-lock bag to bring from Chicago to the Buchman home near Milwaukee. The BBQ was a great success, and I started to pack up the extra rub to bring it home as things were winding down. “Hey, I paid for the meat, I should get to keep the extra rub”

Chris had some friends visiting a few weeks later from Texas, and there was plenty of rub to have a little “rub-off” between our home-made batch and the jar they brought from the Salt Lick. After plenty of merriment and smoked meat consumption the Texans admitted they liked our rub a little better. Crud, if a Texan likes it, maybe we have something here!

Chris and Ethan wearing brand spanking new West3 T-shirts. "What should I rub it on" on the backChris and I chatted, decided to call it West3 Spice Rub after the wing of the hospital that brought our families together. I whipped up a logo and ordered some bottles and we started to sell it/give it away to friends and family. We really just tried to break even so we could make another batch as an excuse to get our family together and for Chris and I to drink beer and see how much we could make our eyes water as we toasted & ground all the peppercorns by hand and then mixed the 21 different ingredients together in Chris’s giant chili pot.

After Carysn’s passing Chris and Michelle created a charity to raise money to help other families and their children with congenital heart defects. They raised nearly $50,000 over the years, with an annual silent auction getting bigger every year.

The Wings of Angles Auction and Dinner had its most successful and poignant event in 2018. Chris had passed away very suddenly October 14, 2017 and somehow Michelle and the girls were still able to put on an amazing event. My wife Teri and I were talking with some long-time wisconsin friends, and West3 Spice Rub came up. Hardly anybody had any left, and Chris and I hadn’t found the time to get together and make a batch before he passed away...we always made it together so doing it solo was never considered.

Seeing how shockingly short life can be, it just made sense for me to make another big batch of rub and put it in people’s hands to share with friends and family. I ordered some more bottles, fired up the old Shopify site and here we are.

The logo:

The best way to explain the logo is with the words I write shortly after Chris’s passing…

Red shoes have been a part of my life since the day he brought me a pair, and I think of Chris every time I put them on. They represent fun, laughter, not taking yourself too seriously and selfless friendship. I never would have had the guts to buy my first pair. I needed a friend like Chris to show me that I needed some heavily discounted Red Timberland Hiking Shoes on my feet, and in my soul.
Those single pair of red shoes have been a constant thread in my life since that day, and though I have had to replace them over the years, the color has always stayed the same.
It is hard to explain what it was like to have Chris in my life, how much he helped me, and how much I miss him now. I am a better person because of Chris’ love and I will never stop wearing red shoes.

You can order a jar of West3 Spice rub at thewest3.com They cost 12.99/jar and a few bucks for shipping. Each jar is made by hand and packed and shipped out by my oldest son. Half of the profits go to The Wings of Angles Endowment and half go into a savings account for Jr. to save up for his first car. There are no preservatives or anti caking agents and far less salt than most store bought spice rubs. Because the jar is 100% filled with fresh spices, we suggest you keep it in your fridge to maintain the most flavor possible. It was originally made for pork ribs, but goes great on everything from salmon to eggs. It has a little zing to it from the 4 different kinds of chili powder, but really only enough that kids might notice.

The jar you receive will have the new-logo on it, we just haven’t updated our product picture yet.

Oh, and the spice rub is made in a facility that handles nuts.

Cheers,
Ethan